Good news! Luke said that Joseph and Mary found Jesus after 3 days (καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς). That probably means that he was found on the 3rd day since they traveled one day out and one day back on their journey. These 3 days will play an important role in the resurrection story, because Jesus will rise from the dead after 3 days. Thus, the distress of these parents will be like the distress of the disciples of Jesus after his death. The parents of Jesus found him in the Temple (εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), just like the women who found the empty tomb on the 3rd day. Jesus, the 12-year-old was sitting in the middle or among the Temple masters or teachers (καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων), experts in the Jewish religion and traditions. He was both listening to them (καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν) and asking them questions (καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς). Nothing had been mentioned about his prior schooling in Nazareth, if there was any. Had he been trained at the local synagogue in Nazareth?
Jesus began to talk about his future suffering that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:21, Luke, chapter 9:22, and here. Notice that Mark and the other synoptics do not blame the Pharisees or the Sadducees for the suffering and death of Jesus. There also was no mention of the Roman authorities. Jesus began to teach them (Καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς) that it was necessary that the Son of Man (ὅτι δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) undergo many great sufferings (καὶ πολλὰ παθεῖν). Here in Mark, Jesus used the term Son of Man to refer to himself not Jesus Christ as in Matthew. He was going to be rejected (καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι) by the elders or presbyters (ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), the chief priests (καὶ ἀρχιερέων), and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων). Eventually, he would be killed (καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι). There was no mention of Jesus going to Jerusalem here. After 3 days (καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας), he would rise again (ἀναστῆναι). Clearly, this was a prediction about the future of Jesus and his suffering, death, and resurrection.
This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that this group of high priests and Pharisees called Pilate “Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε)!” They said that they remembered (ἐμνήσθημεν) what this impostor or deceiver had said (ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὁ πλάνος εἶπεν), while he was still alive or living (ἔτι ζῶν). He had said that after three days (Μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας), he would rise up again (ἐγείρομαι). Thus, they wanted Pilate to command (κέλευσον οὖν) that the tomb be made secure (ἀσφαλισθῆναι τὸν τάφον) until the third day (ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας). Otherwise, Jesus’ disciples might come and steal him away (μή ποτε ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ κλέψωσιν αὐτὸν). Then they would tell the people (καὶ εἴπωσιν τῷ λαῷ) that he had risen from the dead (Ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν). Finally, this last deception or sin would be worse than the first deceptions (καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἐσχάτη πλάνη χείρων τῆς πρώτης). In other words, these Jewish leaders wanted Pilate to have guards around the tomb of Jesus because they remembered that while he was alive he said that he would arise in 3 days. Mathew has these chief priests and Pharisees predict the resurrection of Jesus.
This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:57-58, but Mark has more details and does not explicitly mention 2 witnesses, but only some witnesses. There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18. Matthew said that finally 2 witnesses came forward (ὕστερον δὲ προσελθόντες δύο), an important number under Jewish law. They said that this man had said (εἶπαν Οὗτος ἔφη) that he was able to destroy the Temple of God (Δύναμαι καταλῦσαι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ) and rebuild it in three days (καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν οἰκοδομῆσαι). Jesus had mentioned destroying this Temple in chapter 24:2. He had also spoken about his resurrection in three days in chapters 16:21, 17:23, and 20:19. There was no indication of when the 2 witnesses said that Jesus had uttered these words.
Mark, chapter 8:1-3, has a similar statement about compassion. This is much like the earlier feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew, 14:15-16 that can be found in all 4 gospels. Once again, there is a discussion between Jesus and his disciples. He called his disciples to him (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ). He told them that he had compassion on the crowd (εἶπεν Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον), since they had been with him for 3 days (ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι), without anything to eat (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν). He did not want to send them away hungry (καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω), because they might faint on their way home (μή ποτε ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ). Jesus was seriously concerned about the wellbeing of this large crowd of people who had been with him for a couple of days.
“Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was upon us. He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes along the way. We came to Jerusalem. There we remained three days. On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed into the hands of the priest Meremoth son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. The total was counted and weighed. The weight of everything was recorded.”
Once again, notice the first person plural “we.” This group of about 5,000 with Ezra left on the 12th day of the 1st month. They were protected by God so that no enemy attacked them. They were lucky since they had a huge fortune with them. It does say how long it took them to make this journey, but the first group, some 80 years earlier, took about 5 months. However, the Temple was built by the time Ezra and his group arrived. They stayed 3 days before they presented their great treasures to the Temple priests. They then counted and weighed everything so that it could be recorded. Meremoth will play an important role in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. This Eleazar is obviously not the son of Aaron, but a common name for priests. There were other people name Jozabad, but this is the only Noadiah.
“Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam. ‘Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke that he placed on us. Then we will serve you.’ Rehoboam said to them. ‘Come to me again in three days.’ So the people went away.”
Once again, this is based almost word for word on 1 Kings, chapter 12. Jeroboam became the spokesperson for the northern Israelite tribes. He wanted Rehoboam to lighten the yoke that had been placed on the northern tribes by his father, King Solomon. This would seem to indicate that King Solomon did have some forced Israelite labor. If Rehoboam would lighten their service, they would serve him. Rehoboam said that he needed 3 days to think it over. So they went away for 3 days.